World Heritage List

World Heritage List

World Heritage List

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “World Heritage List”. The topic “World Heritage List” has relevance in the Art and Culture section for the UPSC CSE exam.

Relevance of the topic “World Heritage List”

For Prelims:
What is a World Heritage List?
What is Shantiniketan?
What are Indian sites included in the World Heritage List?
For Mains:
GS 1 : Art and Culture
What is the significance of the World Heritage List?
Way Forward

Why in the news?

Santiniketan, associated with Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, has been recommended for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

What is a World Heritage List?

The World Heritage List, also known as the UNESCO World Heritage List, is a collection of cultural and natural sites around the world that are considered to have outstanding universal value. It is maintained by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and was established in 1978.

The purpose of the World Heritage List is to identify and protect sites that are considered to be of exceptional importance to humanity. These sites can include natural wonders, such as national parks, forests, or geological formations, as well as cultural sites, such as ancient cities, archaeological sites, or religious buildings.

What is Shantiniketan?

Shantiniketan, meaning “Abode of Peace,” is a small town located in the Birbhum district of the state of West Bengal, India. It is renowned as the home and educational institution established by the Nobel laureate poet, writer, philosopher, and artist, Rabindranath Tagore.

In 1901, Rabindranath Tagore founded an experimental school in Shantiniketan, which later grew into Visva Bharati University in 1921. The institution follows Tagore’s philosophy of education, emphasizing a holistic approach that integrates intellectual, artistic, and cultural pursuits. It seeks to foster a harmonious relationship between nature, humanity, and the arts.

Shantiniketan and Visva Bharati University became centres of education, literature, music, and arts, attracting scholars, artists, and students from around the world. The town itself is characterised by its serene and tranquil environment, surrounded by lush greenery, gardens, and open spaces.

The university campus features distinct architectural styles, blending traditional elements with influences from different cultures, reflecting Tagore’s vision of a global centre of learning. The Tagore family’s ancestral home, “Udayan,” is also located within the campus and has been preserved as a museum.

Shantiniketan is not only a place of learning but also a vibrant cultural hub. It hosts various festivals, including the Poush Mela and Basanta Utsav (Holi), which attract a large number of visitors and showcase traditional music, dance, and arts.

The town and its educational institutions, Shantiniketan and Visva Bharati University, hold a significant place in Indian history and continue to inspire generations with Tagore’s philosophy and contribution to literature and education.

What is the significance of the World Heritage List ?

  • Prestige and Recognition: Being included on the World Heritage List is prestigious and brings international recognition and support for the preservation and conservation of the site. 
  • Tourism: It also often leads to increased tourism and economic benefits for the local communities.
  • Preservation: The sites are repositories of past information and culture. Such protection makes them important for governments to pay attention to.

What are Indian sites included in the World Heritage List?

There are a total of 40 sites inscribed in the World Heritage List.

Cultural 32

  1. Agra Fort (1983)
  2. Ajanta Caves (1983)
  3. Archaeological Site of Nalanda Mahavihara at Nalanda, Bihar (2016)
  4. Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi (1989)
  5. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park (2004)
  6. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (formerly Victoria Terminus) (2004)
  7. Churches and Convents of Goa (1986)
  8. Dholavira: a Harappan City (2021)
  9. Elephanta Caves (1987)
  10. Ellora Caves (1983)
  11. Fatehpur Sikri (1986)
  12. Great Living Chola Temples (1987, 2004)
  13. Group of Monuments at Hampi (1986)
  14. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (1984)
  15. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal (1987)
  16. Hill Forts of Rajasthan (2013)
  17. Historic City of Ahmedabad (2017)
  18. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi (1993)
  19. Jaipur City, Rajasthan (2019)
  20. Kakatiya Rudreshwara (Ramappa) Temple, Telangana (2021)
  21. Khajuraho Group of Monuments (1986)
  22. Mahabodhi Temple Complex at Bodh Gaya (2002)
  23. Mountain Railways of India (1999, 2005, 2008)
  24. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi (1993)
  25. Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell) at Patan, Gujarat (2014)
  26. Red Fort Complex (2007)
  27. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka (2003)
  28. Sun Temple, Konârak (1984)
  29. Taj Mahal (1983)
  30. The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement (2016)
  31. The Jantar Mantar, Jaipur (2010)
  32. Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai (2018)

Natural 7

  1. Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)
  2. Kaziranga National Park (1985)
  3. Keoladeo National Park (1985)
  4. Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
  5. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005)
  6. Sundarbans National Park (1987)
  7. Western Ghats (2012)

Mixed 1

  1. Khangchendzonga National Park (2016)


Plutus ias current affairs 11th May 2023

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